Design

Why Is a Design System Important for Your Brand?

Why Is a Design System Important for Your Brand?
Leah Camps
1st December 2021

What is a design system?

A design system can include different things for different businesses but overall it can be defined as a set of principles, design elements, components and patterns that teams use to create a consistent experience across every part of your brand’s visual identity. Your design system will make sure that your app is as accurately branded as every page of your website, even down to the spacing between a header and an image. 

Every design system is usually a little bit different and will include details that are relevant to your brand, but in general, every one will include key principles that govern the use of elements like shapes, colours and spacing. Let’s now have a closer look at what some example design systems include to help you figure out what you’d like yours to include…

What does a Design System include?

The best way to learn about Design Systems is to review some examples of existing ones. Design Systems are often referred to as a living document, since they never really get completed. Instead, your design system will continue to grow as new components and UI elements are designed and adapted for your brand.

Here’s 5 design systems to have a look at for inspiration…

1. Material Design

Material Design is the design system developed by Google and includes guidelines on details like…

  • Motion

 

  • Shape

 

  • Sound guidelines

2. IBM Design Language

The IBM Design Language system includes covers important elements like…

  • Animation

 

  • Iconography

 

  • Data visualisation.

3. MailChimp Design System

The Mailchimp Design system includes guidelines on components like…

  • Buttons

 

  • Tables

 

  • Navigation.

4. Atlassian Design System

The Atlassian Design System covers a lot of content-based details like…

  • Language and grammar

 

  • Writing Style

 

  • The brand’s mission

5. Zendesk Garden

Garden is Zendesk’s Design System and outlines how to use elements like…

– Punctuation

 

– Pagination

 

– Grammar

 

UI designer working on website design

 

What makes a design system important?

Now we know more about what a design system is, we can take a closer look at what makes a design system important. There are a number of benefits that make a design system a really important asset for your brand. For example, a design system can help to create a uniform brand across multiple platforms. By having one ever-growing system full of design components and patterns that can be used across different platforms and pages of your site means that you’ll be building a brand that is completely consistent no matter where your customer views it. For example, you can make sure that spacing is accurate between every UI component on your site. Or, you can make sure copy is a consistent tone even when being produced by a large team of copywriters. By having those details already confirmed in a design system you can avoid easy-to-miss issues that can make your overall brand feel messy and unpolished (and also create a nightmare for your developer.)

 

Two people fist bumping

 

This moves us on to our second benefit of using a design system – it creates a better workflow between designer and developer. When a designer creates a website design, they then send it over to the developer who will begin to create the code for the various components needed. That developer can document the code so you’ll begin to build a library of pre-coded components and patterns that can be added to your brand’s website really easily. Not only that, a designer can use the design system to refer to when they need more information like which colours and shape CTA buttons should be or the typography used for titles. Overall, it creates a much faster workflow and smoother communication between your team.

 

In addition to making it easier for your existing developers, it’s a great asset for when you need to scale up your team with either in-house or freelance developers. By having an up-to-date design system, everyone on your team can be singing from the same sheet straight away.

 

How can you help build your design system with Design Cloud?

One of the most important parts of any design system is the UI components and patterns that make up a layout. 

 

When you work with your Design Cloud designer, they will always create website designs that are ready to send over to your developer straight away. Your designer will use Figma to create the web design and can keep all relevant UI components we design for you in a working file that you can access to create any number of website designs way into the future too. One agency we work with has used their Figma file to communicate with their developer and pre-code blocks that they can then use to effectively create their own library of unique UI components that can be used across site designs for multiple clients, which has resulted in a lot of saved time and money. The great thing is, the longer they work with their Design Cloud designer, the better their design system will become as it continues to grow with the unique layout options their designer creates.

 

Summary

 

In this article, we’ve looked at a brief introduction to what a design system is, the benefits of having one in place and how you can use Design Cloud to help build your brand’s design system.  Whether you’re a start-up or a large enterprise, it’s clear to see why having a system in place is crucial to ensure that your brand’s identity remains consistent and recognisable as you scale up. It’s also a great idea for agencies who are creating web designs for multiple clients and would like to speed up the process between design and development. We hope this article has inspired you to get started with building a design system or improving yours today.

 

For more information on how to get started on one of our unlimited graphic design subscription plans, learn more about how the Design Cloud platform works.